Last week, new code was checked into the Firefox development trunk that means the browser will pass the Acid 2 test. The Acid 2 test was launched nearly 2 years ago, back in March 2005, with the aim of showing flaws in how web browsers display CSS. At the time, no web browser was able to display the Acid 2 test image properly.
Since then Safari and Opera have both implemented fixes which mean that their browsers pass the test. Mozilla, while being committed to fixing Firefox to pass Acid 2, didn’t rush into it. This was for two reasons: Firefox 1.5 was due to be released that year and it was getting very late in the development cycle to implement big changes to the rendering engine, and Firefox 2.0 was to be based on largely the same engine as Firefox 1.5. The second reason was that Mozilla developer David Baron was already working on fixing this along with several other rendering bugs, some of which are almost 6 years old. It was this patch that has just been checked into the Firefox development trunk.
As well as fixing several bugs in the rendering of web pages, the patch results in the removal of around 9000 lines of code from Firefox, thus making the browser small in size. It has also resulted in a 3-5% improvement in page rendering times, so the browser should now run faster too.
It just goes to show, if you take time to do things right, the results can be far better. Mozilla could have probably done some cludge fix to get Acid 2 working and then reap the publicity when the buzz was around it, but instead they took their time and came up with something much better. Though I doubt Mozilla will be able to reap the same kind of publicity, it makes the browser better and that’s what is important.